Breaking News: Obama Administration Strips Wolf Protections Across Most of Lower 48 States

7 Jun
Photograph by Joel Sartore/NGS

Photograph by Joel Sartore/NGS

by the Center for Biological Diversity

In a move questioned by some of the world’s leading wolf researchers, the Obama administration announced plans today to prematurely strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states, abruptly ending one of America’s most important species recovery programs. The proposal concludes that wolf protection in the continental United States, in place since 1978, is no longer needed, even though there are fledgling populations in places like the Pacific Northwest whose survival hinges on continued federal protection.

“This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they’re still attached to life-support,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wolves cling to a sliver of their historic habitat in the lower 48 and now the Obama administration wants to arbitrarily declare victory and move on. They need to finish the job that Americans expect, not walk away the first chance they get. This proposal is a national disgrace and our wildlife deserve better.”

Wolves today occupy just 5 percent of their historic habitat in the continental United States. Today’s proposal means that wolves will never fully reoccupy prime wolf habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, California and Northeast, and will hinder ongoing recovery in the Pacific Northwest.

The proposal will hand wolf management over to state wildlife agencies across most of the country – a step that has meant widespread killing in recent years. Following removal of protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes in 2011, states in those regions quickly enacted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce wolf populations. In the northern Rocky Mountains more than 1,100 wolves have been killed since protections were removed; this year populations declined by 7 percent.

“By locking wolves out of prime habitat across most this country, this proposal perpetuates the global phenomena of eliminating predators that play hugely important roles in ecosystems,” said Greenwald. “Wolves are well documented to benefit a host of other wildlife from beavers and fish, to songbirds and pronghorn.”

In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, today’s proposal maintains protections for the Mexican gray wolf as a separate subspecies. Only 75 Mexican wolves roam a recovery area restricted to portions of Arizona and New Mexico. The population has not grown as expected because of a combination of illegal poaching and government mismanagement that requires wolves to be removed from the wild or killed when they leave the recovery area or depredate livestock.

“It’s obvious that Mexican gray wolves continue to need protection and we’re glad they’re getting it,” said Greenwald. “But it is equally obvious that wolves in the Pacific Northwest, southern Rockies, California and Northeast also need continued protection.”

40 Responses to “Breaking News: Obama Administration Strips Wolf Protections Across Most of Lower 48 States”

  1. Girl for Animal Liberation June 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    And I voted for this guy, TWICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could take my vote back. Thanks Obama, thank you for KILLING ALL THE WOLVES! What will you tell your children and grandchildren? Will you admit YOU were the reason all the wolves haven been erased from existence?

    Good job. May I please have my vote back?

    • Blake Payne June 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Same here!!! I’m ashamed to have fallen for his lies TWICE! I think he’s had ALL of us fooled! No more! This is his last term, and next time I refuse to vote for anyone who’s claims sound too good to be true!

    • Cherokee Charlie June 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Add this to drones , privacy, whistle blowing, gitmo.. I voted for him twice too.. this man is horrible.

    • Brad June 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      While the resounding echo in the comments section is “Obama is bad, never should have voted for this guy” you all MUST ADMIT, he is better than both alternatives… Palin or Romney.. we would all be drowning in oil and sniffing natural gas by now if they had their way.

      • Earth First! Journal Sonoran Office June 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

        Its true, but when your system offers you Romney or Obama it is offering you a loosing bet. You get bad or worse and I’ll be damned if Obama isn’t about as bad as it comes, sort of a center right politician playing at hope and change.

    • BraveWolf June 8, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      No reason to be such a sucker. Obama has sucked on wildlife since Day One. I was not seduced by him but wanted Hillary. And in 2012, wrote in US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont who has stood up for wolves. Obama is an urban black man with no heart for wildlife at all. He is an arrogant and strange man, who doesn’t care for wildlife-loving voters who put him in office either. What a heart breaking creep.

      • Makuye June 8, 2013 at 11:54 am #

        No major party aligns with your ethic. Your vote is not wasted when you choose another, rather than these.
        Change from the EuroAmerican ethic starts with courage to be different, but insufficiently with compromise.
        (I am told that only in courts of law are citizens able to make differences, but when precedent rules this, too, fails Earth and its children.)

        You are here for a reason, says another way of looking, known on this continent for far longer.
        Yet that reason is not a sacrifice by you, but your own willed path. Maybe you know about the songs by which the peoples of another land have found their way for 60,000 years; I can tell you that if you listen very closely to the songs of your own heart, that you will find today’s answers in your own actions. You must look deeper for my meaning.

        You may loathe Obama for his compromise, feeling your own compromise without acknowledging it. Or you might, like a very few, side with the wolf, whose intrinsic wisdom leads to wild, self-willed persistence.

      • Elysee Price June 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm #


    • BraveWolf June 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Hey Girl, You voted based on the color of his skin and his ability to give a decent speech. Hillary was the worthy democrat in 2008 and she would have been most unlikely to reverse the good work of her husband for America’s wolves, other native wildlife and our wild places. Obama is absolutely the worst ‘democratic?’ President we have ever had regarding wildlife and wild lands. He is a freakin’ disaster. What a tragedy for wolves and those of us who respect and love them. Obama, being a corporate, urban twit, will most likely approve the Keystone XL pipeline. I’ve never said this before but based on his sick environmental policies, which are certainly the opposite from the majority of voters who put him in office, he should be impeached.

      • Elysee Price June 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

        Hillary was who my husband and I wanted to begin with. We donated to her campaign and when Obama won the nomination, we decided he was better than a Republican. Obama is a the first black republican as far as we are concerned. I am beyond words right now….heartless, cold horrible. I feel so helpless and angry at the same time!!!

    • Elysee Price June 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      YOU TOOK THE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH! I am disgusted as I was when Dubya was voted in TWICE! I have NEVER felt so lied to EVER! I am sick to my stomach. Impeach Obama NOW!

  2. Exposing the Big Game June 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Too bad it doesn’t work that way… I don’t see a date on this–is this today’s post or an older one, before the plan to delist was put on hold?

    • Jane Eagle June 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      June 7, 2013

  3. Exposing the Big Game June 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
    “This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they’re still attached to life-support,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wolves cling to a sliver of their historic habitat in the lower 48 and now the Obama administration wants to arbitrarily declare victory and move on.

  4. Croatan Earth First! June 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Croatan Earth First!.

  5. Justine Watkinson June 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    This is the saddist news i have heared in a long time why ?am sat here and want to cry its that sad

  6. sunnyromy June 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Hat dies auf SunnyRomy rebloggt und kommentierte:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  7. Ingrid Hartman June 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    This proposal is a national disgrace and our wildlife deserve better.”

  8. Jane Eagle June 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Okay, boys and girls, it is time to prepare to sabotage the hunt. When wolf season opens. wear orange, walk the woods beating pots and pans or drums; bring a long stick to spring traps, and some superglue to destroy the works…all perfectly legal.

    • Yvonne June 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Great idea! I will be sure to be in the woods with my pots, pans and super glue!

    • Mayra August 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      I will personally donate money towards any group in the area towards this mission, this is what we need focus on right now, we need to organize and more assertive ways, this cannot be allowed to continue. We need to move and get everyone one together to work toghether, with this aim.

  9. Earth First! Journal Sonoran Office June 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Don’t be surprised when he approves the Keystone XL pipeline either.

  10. bearspawprint June 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

  11. BraveWolf June 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    After reluctantly voting for Obama in 2008 (I supported Hillary) and being a true wildlife and wild lands defender would never vote for McCain, there was no way I was going to vote for Obama in 2012. I wrote in Bernie Sanders who spoke up for protecting wolves. Obama has no interest in wolves or any native wildlife whatsoever. He’s an urban, corporate democrat and does not give a sh-t about democrats who put him in office and who do care so much for wolves and wildlife. What a strange and arrogant man.

  12. Wolf is my Soul June 8, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Reblogged this on Carinas space and commented:
    I feel extremely frustrated about this the latest decision by the Obama-administration. It’s as if they could care less about preserving North Americas unique wildlife!

  13. Lindy Barnes June 8, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    I am completely disgusted, angered, infuriated, sick of what this administration is doing to our country. I still believe that if the vote had gone to the GOP things would be worse. However, I’m with the first commenter, may I please have my vote back!. 😦

    • stephen June 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Your vote was your only option in a sick capitalistic society where the true evil (christian republicans) are always patiently waiting in the wings to snatch power and rapidly employ their apocalyptic myths in honor of their cruel creapy male appendage bi-ped god !!!! The wolves where sacrificed to save democratic house and senate seats in the western states where the most foul of all male appendage bi-peds reside!!! I say open season an all white male republicans and their disgusting ,raping hairy man in the sky!!!

    • BraveWolf June 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Lindy, you can believe whatever you want. (By the way, I’m a registered democrat.) The Obama-worshippers dream is in fact a freakin’ nightmare for the continent’s natural heritage. The republicans never dared to be so rotten to wolves and wild horses and every other wild being that moved as Obama has been from his first days in office till now. He appointed Salazar the rancher moron who implemented wildlife policies from the massacre everything in sight 1800’s. He’s an arrogant prick with no heart or brain for ecology and he is clearly contemptible of those millions of us voters who cherish our native wildlife. Perhaps you will now see the truth: Obama is far worse than Bush for wolves and all native wildlife. I despise the tea party and I despise Obama for what he had done to our precious wildlife.

    • BraveWolf June 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      How could they be worse? Would Romney have unleashed the military on wolves? The Dep’t of Agriculture’s “Wildlife Services” paramilitary wildlife killing division is already torturing, burning and blasting wolves, including new born pups, and hundreds of thousands of other native wild beings every year. Our sick and corrupt gov’t on the state and federal level are using our tax dollars to kill and kill and kill and kill and kill. USA USA SICK SICK SICK.

      • stephen June 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

        I assure you it was a cold political calculation to be harsh on wildlife in order to secure those western democratic senate seats.All beings beautiful will be destroyed by the heavily armed western white male except his shitsmeared kows!!!

      • stephen June 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

        I say lets all load our weapons go hunt shitsmeared cows on federal lands.

      • BraveWolf June 9, 2013 at 12:01 am #

        Excellent idea, Stephen.

  14. nat June 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    NO Obama don’t do crap now

  15. BraveWolf June 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    A good friend sent me this super wolf defender petition. Read the Background Text, below the petition itself. It is very thorough and enlightening and will inspire many more good people to step forward for wolves.

    Then sign and share this thing with everyone. Let’s get it viral across the US and the whole Earth!

    Protect America’s Wolves!

  16. mark June 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Worst President ever. How can you take out the Apex Predator of an ecosystem without slowly destroying it, cause that is what’s going to happen here. Just look at Yellowstone Park it was dying a slow death after the virus called humans killed off Wolves there, nothing had balance, the grass eating animals were destroying the habitat because no top predator to keep them in balance. Now the Wolves are back, Yellowstone is healthy again, all balance that nature designed is back to how it was meant to be, without a virus hell bent on destroying the planet called humans. So rethink this Obama before it’s to late, and it ends up like a Yellowstone again, try learning from that mistake. As you will have to put the Wolf back after they have all been killed off, and the Environment starts to slowly die. Just who do you people think you are?…

  17. Sara June 13, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Hate is a strong word as well as a very strong emotion. Having said that, I f***ing HATE Obama. Thanks for ruining the wildlife like you are ruining American lives, Obama. To think you couldn’t possibly make things worse only to prove us otherwise.

  18. July 9, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    I every time used to study piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of internet therefore from now I
    am using net for articles, thanks to web.


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